If you have a goal of weight loss, you want help to make the process faster and easier. Here are the top 7 weight loss trends trends for 2024 for losing weight and keeping it off.
- 1. Ozempic, Wegovy, Monjaro, Zepbound: GLP-1 RA Weight Loss Medications
- 2. Keto is Out, Plant-Based is In
- 3. Health At Every Size, Body Acceptance, & Ending Weight Stigma
- 4. Trauma-Sensitive Weight Loss
- 5. Non-Diabetic Continuous Glucose Monitoring
- 6. How Gut Microbiome Affects Body Weight
- 7. The Food Industry: Processed & Packaged Foods
- Honorable Mention: 2 More Weight Loss Trends
- My Weight Loss Before & After Story
Here’s what’s trending for weight loss for 2024.
1. Ozempic, Wegovy, Monjaro, Zepbound: GLP-1 RA Weight Loss Medications
What are GLP-1 RAs weight loss medications?
Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are a class of medications utilized in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. At this time, these medications are mostly available as a weekly injection, by prescription only. (Rybelsus is available in pill form for diabetic use.) Semaglutide is one of the most popular GLP-1s.
These medications greatly reduce appetite and slow digestion, which leads to weight loss due to reduced daily calorie intake. Many users also report that the medication lessens obsessive food thoughts.
Drug manufacturers are racing to create more of these medications in pill form, make them even more effective, and reduce side effects. They are currently being tested in teenagers, for binge eating, and more.
Some potential drawbacks and concerns:
- Long-term effects and risks are unknown – GLP-1s have been used for diabetic patients since 2012. They appear to be safe, but results of longer-term use are unknown.
- Financial cost – All GLP-1 RAs are expensive. They are sometimes covered by insurance if you are diabetic or have other health conditions.
- Life-long use – The medication requires life-long use in order to be effective. When people stop taking the medication, they quickly regain weight that was lost.
- Side-effects – The most common side effects are digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and heartburn.
Weight Watchers has partnered with Sequence and will soon offer members a telehealth option to receive weight loss medications for an additional fee. Noom also recently announced a weight loss medication program for its members.
Whether you are watching TikTok videos or the nightly news, Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, Zepbound, and other GLP-1 inhibitors are by far the hottest weight loss trend in 2023, and they will continue to be a hot topic into 2024.
I am not opposed to weight loss medications. They are not a miracle cure. They are a tool. In the past, medications for weight loss did not work very well and were even potentially dangerous.
However, GLP-1 RAs are showing a lot of promise. Many well-known obesity researchers and experts are recommending their use and saying that they could potentially change the entire trajectory of obesity.
This is a decision that is between you and your doctor.
Where to learn more
2. Keto is Out, Plant-Based is In
Why is Keto on a downward trend?
The ketogenic diet for weight loss (a very low-carb diet) has steadily decreased in popularity. Most people find that the strictness is not sustainable, and doctors have concerns about the high level of saturated fat and low fiber that is required for the diet.
Plant-based (vegetarian and vegan) plans are on the rise, with an increase in food manufacturers adding “plant-based” to their labels and packages.
I ate a strictly low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based diet for 6 months. At the time, I was trying to heal undiagnosed gut issues. I lost weight due to the low calorie density of a plant-based lifestyle.
While a whole-foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet can be very healthy, a food is not necessarily healthier just because it is plant-based. Manufactured meat replacements like Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are sometimes higher in fat and calories than lean meat.
All Americans would do better to add more unprocessed plant foods to our diets and increase our fiber intake. Aim to make the majority of what you eat these foods:
- whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa
I recommend eating a plant-forward diet of mostly plant foods, with smaller amounts of animal products added as desired. Most people do not need to eat a strict vegan diet in order to lose weight and improve health.
Where to learn more
3 Day Plant-Based Meal Plan – A FREE 3 day meal plan and a great way to try easy plant-based recipes. As featured in Woman’s World magazine.
Restoring Gut Health with Diet – How eating a plant-based diet can help with health issues
50+ Plant-Based Recipes for Weight Loss – A huge list of delicious recipes that are great for everyone, plant-based and meat-eaters alike
Plant-Based for a Day – Free One Day Challenge
3. Health At Every Size, Body Acceptance, & Ending Weight Stigma
What is HAES & ending body shaming?
Health at Every Size is a set of beliefs that promotes a society where we “accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.” Association for Size Diversity and Health
HAES is based on the idea that just because a person is thin doesn’t mean they are healthy, and just because a person is heavier doesn’t mean they are unhealthy.
The HAES movement aims to end the weight stigma that is prevalent in our current culture. This movement is important during a time that all of us are working to develop more sensitivity to ending racism and including diversity among people, which includes those who have a body weight that is outside what is considered typical.
I was heavy as a child, weighed over 200 pounds as teenager in high school, and was well over 250 pounds as an adult into my 30s.
I was teased by other kids, belittled by doctors, and ignored and ridiculed by my peers.
Yet none of that compared to the way I spoke to myself when I looked the mirror.
The time for body shaming must come to an end. No one should be made to feel lesser-than because of their size, shape, color of their skin, or abilities.
Yet, I don’t consider myself part of the Health At Every Size movement. While I believe it’s true that weight is the only one indicator of health, I don’t believe it’s healthy to be very overweight.
I did not have the energy, stamina, and motivation to do all I wanted and needed to do when I carried 100 extra pounds on my body every day. The pursuit of weight loss is worthy of time and attention.
Where to learn more
4. Trauma-Sensitive Weight Loss
What is trauma-informed weight loss?
Trauma is emotional distress you experience anytime you are in a situation that is beyond your resources to handle. All of us have experienced trauma.
During this post-pandemic time, we as a society have grown in awareness of the need for more resources around mental health issues.
We are coming to understand the impact of trauma on every person, including how it affects body weight and food choices.
A trauma-sensitive approach asks, “What happened to this person?” instead of, “What is wrong with this person?”
As someone who experienced my own childhood trauma, worked for years as a foster parent and family advocate, and adopted two children from foster care with special needs, I have lived and seen first-hand the effects of trauma.
Trauma changes the brain. When I went to therapy to work through my trauma, then I lost weight the final time and kept it off.
Where to learn more
Is trauma affecting your weight? – article
The trauma of traumatic stress – research study on trauma and how it affects body weight
5. Non-Diabetic Continuous Glucose Monitoring
What is continuous glucose monitoring?
A CGM is a small device that stays on the back of your arm and monitors your glucose values 24/7. Application is easy and painless and gives you real-time information about how your body is affected by foods you eat, sleep, stress, and more.
The belief is that keeping blood sugar relatively stable helps with energy, sleep, hunger, and more. Once you understand how certain foods, patterns of eating, and lifestyle choices affect your unique body, you can adapt your habits to prevent large blood sugar spikes and crashes.
I recently had the opportunity to use a CGM for two weeks courtesy of Nutrisense. (Take a free quiz here with Nutrisense to see if you qualify.) Click here to read my complete CGM for weight loss review and what I learned from using a glucose monitor.
I read the Glucose Goddess book and follow some of her hacks, like starting eating times with vegetables and including protein with meals and snacks. This helps somewhat with cravings and energy levels, but it’s not a miracle cure.
Where to learn more
Nutrisense – one of several monitor companies
Glucose Goddess Method– book
6. How Gut Microbiome Affects Body Weight
Can you alter your gut microbiome as a weight loss strategy?
The gut microbiome is the trillions of microorganisms (also called microbiota or microbes) that live in your digestive track. In a healthy person, these “bugs” coexist peacefully, with the largest numbers found in the small and large intestines but also throughout the body.
New research has shown variation in the gut microbiome of overweight individuals compared to people of a healthy body weight. The more you eat processed foods, the bacteria and other organisms in your gut send out signals driving you to crave similar foods.
The best way to improve your gut microbiome by eating more fiber-rich, plant-based foods. Also helpful are fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.
Every single person has a slightly different microbiome, and there’s still so much we don’t know about how to change yours for the better. I’m a big fan of eating a wide variety of plant-based foods since that’s healthy on many levels.
Probiotics in pill form don’t seem to do much.
Let’s continue to watch to research and wait to learn more.
Where to learn more
Fiber Fueled – I recommend both the book and cookbook by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz
7. The Food Industry: Processed & Packaged Foods
How does the current food supply impact your weight?
Is our current first-world food supply impacting obesity rates? Yes.
The food industry has one job, and that’s to sell food. Their job is to make money because they are a business, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Food researchers spend huge amounts of money creating foods that trigger your bliss point, which is the perfect combination of sugar, fat, and salt that increases your appetite.
Today’s food is hyper-palatable and designed to make you overeat. Over 60% of our American diet is made up of packaged foods, processed foods, fat foods, and ultra-processed foods, which is leading to an increase in our daily calorie intake.
I strongly agree with the growing concerns about our American food supply. None of us is getting healthier eating a standard American diet.
I grew up eating junk food and fast food. I love the stuff, so I’m not passing judgement on anyone who eats it regularly. I was addicted to it. I understand that junk foods can be cheaper, faster, and sometimes all that’s available.
I am concerned for all of us (not just people who are overweight) who eat a typical American diet.
Where to learn more
Ultra-Processed Diets Cause Excess Calorie Intake and Weight Gain – research study
Honorable Mention: 2 More Weight Loss Trends
While these didn’t make our list of top trends, they are worth a mention.
Childhood Obesity on the Rise
Since 2010, childhood obesity rates have continued to rise.
According to Healthline, from 2017-2019 the obesity rate for children ages 2 to 19 was 19 percent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at the University of Georgia reported that pediatric obesity rates hit a new high of 22 percent, where it remains today.
Some reasons that overweight and children and teens may be rising:
- Increased screen time, from an average of 4 hours to a day to now 8 hours a day
- Increase in higher-calorie foods in the standard American diet, including fast food, processed foods, junk foods, and especially beverages such as soda and energy drinks
- Eating in the car, in front of the TV, and while “on the go” instead of family meals at the dinner table
Childhood obesity rates in the United States – CDC website
Exercise Won’t Fix Your Weight
Since the hype faded away over the Biggest Loser TV show – and we’ve seen the rapid weight regain from many of the contestants – most of us have come to realize that hours of punishing workouts don’t do much for weight loss.
The latest researching is proving this truth. Exercise is incredibly important for cardio fitness, building muscle, and reducing stress, but it won’t help you lose weight.
My Weight Loss Before & After Story
As someone who has been maintaining a 100+ pound weight loss for almost 20 years, I’m continually watching trends, keeping up with the latest research, and reading books about how we can all be healthier.
My opinions are just that – my opinion – so take them as one source of information. Do your own research and speak to your health care provider. This article is not for medical advice.
What are your thoughts about these trends? Which one are you most curious to learn more about? Share your opinion in the comments.